AWwoC to close at the end of May
It is with deep regret that we have to announce that AWwoC will be closing to the public at the end of May.
Since we were founded in 2014, we have tried various ways to make the organisation financially sustainable through applying for grants, offering training and piloting a membership scheme. Although we have had some success in gaining funding on a small scale, the level of financing required to make AWwoC viable has not been achieved. After 5 years, we can longer continue to operate in this way and so our journey must come to an end for now.
We are very proud of what we have achieved in 5 years with minimal income including
- The creation of a guide for organisations on setting on AwwoC groups
- “Our Voices” report on the experiences of people ageing without children
- Two national conferences on ageing without children
- Creation of an online group of 2000 people
- 4 local groups
We have brought national and international attention to the issue of ageing well without children and we firmly believe that the issues affecting people ageing without children need addressing and that, as the demographic shift continues, they will become more prevalent. We are exploring how the work we have begun can be taken forward in other ways and we will update you with more information on that as these conversations progress.
We would like to thank all those individuals and organisations who have supported us over the last 5 years.
Kirsty Woodard on behalf of the Board of AWwoC
AwwoC has applied to all the major grant funders for which it was eligible over the last 2 years. Of those only an application to the Transform Ageing programme was successful. The feedback we have received generally from the grant-making bodies is that they do not see ageing without children as an issue that requires a specific focus over and above what is currently being offered by organisations operating in the ageing sector. We do not agree with this. We believe that ageing without children needs a specific focus in the way that e.g. carers, Alzheimer’s and loneliness do. It was not until AwwoC began to campaign about the issue that it received any recognition within the age sector.
AWwoC piloted a subscription model, but it was not very well taken up partly because the organisation lacked the resources to invest in a membership offer that people wanted to pay for.
There has been interest in training, but without money to invest in marketing, we have been unable to get the uptake required. A secondary issue has been an expectation that training should be provided at low or no cost.
Previous attempts at crowd funding have raised only a few hundred pounds. Ageing without children is not seen as a “sexy” issue and, again, without resources to invest in marketing, it is hard to get the uptake required
How much money does AWwoC need?
To allow AWwoC to continue to do what it has been doing, the organisation needs an annual income of approximately £50,000. This would enable us to pay someone to work full time, some part-time administrative support, running costs and expenses.
However, just doing what we are doing now will not move the issue forward on the scale necessary. To deliver our strategy we need:
- A network of support groups
- A safe online community
- A resource bank of research
- Provision of training
- Campaigning & policy work
This requires and investment of approximately £450,000 over 3 years.
What will happen to the website, twitter, Facebook group and email?
As a community interest company, in order to close the organisation completely, we are required to cease trading. This means that we can no longer carry out any activity under the name and brand Ageing Well without Children. We will have to close the Facebook group and twitter, and will no longer respond to emails; the website will remain in situ but will not be updated. Should we find another organisation willing to take on the campaigning work then they may be reopened.
The local groups in Leeds, York, Bradford and Frome are run independently of AWwoC and as far as we are aware will be able to carry on meeting.
NB The situation as regards all of the above is not clear cut and we are seeking further advice. What is set out here is accurate to the best of our knowledge at the current time.